The International Data Corporation (IDC) in association with Cisco and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) launched a report titled ‘Smartest Cities of the Future’. The report outlines a framework that focuses on sustainable and inclusive (social, economic, and digital) development, and a smart city scorecard to measure the impact of intelligent solutions.
The report recognizes that for sustainable urbanization, cities need to adopt a framework that is socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable. The report emphasizes the challenges of urbanization and recommends five major thrust areas
- Continued innovative thinking and the empowerment of smart city decision makers to balance between risk and value.
- Enhancing execution capabilities through strategic public-private partnerships
- “Matchmake” the government demand with a sustained supply of technology innovation
- Smart City planners will need to invest in the concept of value capture funding and the immense benefits it brings.
- Smart city solution providers will need to craft go-to-market strategies that consider the customers’ and citizens’ desires for end-to-end solutions
Recognizing that mere investments in enhancing infrastructure are not the solution, the report notes that while urbanization has resulted in economic growth it has also posed socio-economic and environmental challenges. For cities to become more competitive, they need to become smarter and more efficient, and the report emphasizes that technology can act as the key enabler to help achieve these goals. The report underlines that investments in coordination with technology, value capture funding and strategic private-public partnerships will be the essential engines of growth for cities to achieve sustainable living.
The report highlights Cisco Golden Mile project at Vijayawada and its societal, economic, and environmental impact. IDC along with the state government of Andhra Pradesh monitored and analyzed the efficiency and efficacy of the smart solutions deployed in the city against the Smart City Score Card comprising five critical parameters – digital inclusion, citizen convenience and engagement, public safety, revenue impact and environmental impact. IDC observed that 46% of citizens (respondents) have used the smart services and have recognized that technology has positively impacted their lives. In addition to that, 79% of respondents felt more secure after the Vijayawada city administration deployed smart surveillance solutions.
IDC also observed that the power savings from a basic hypothesis of a city-wide smart initiative, such as smart lighting could help Vijayawada Municipal corporation save up to INR 35 crores per year (approximately US$ 5.22 million)
The report highlights the need for Value Capture Funding (VCF). The VCF framework is to better distribute the costs and benefits in funded infrastructure to facilitate a project that may perhaps otherwise not be taken up at all. The VCF framework is significant, as it enables private partners to participate and run projects that are sufficiently planned and backed by governmental agencies through value and risk sharing.